Managing travel risks should be a priority for businesses

Posted on Sep 23, 2017

With the amount of terrorist activities, rebel fighting, infectious disease outbreaks and other life-threatening circumstances happening across the world, businesses have to get ready to protect their corporate travelers going to fall conferences and meetings.

Businesses have to protect their travelers and train them before they work abroad

Jim Villa, the senior vice president of accident coverage company Chubb Accident and Health, explained that businesses should continuously check travel alerts, power outages, breaking news, weather updates and other warnings from the U.S. Department of State when sending workers abroad. Currently, the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have travel restrictions on Egypt, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Thailand and Ukraine.

"Whether you are traveling on business or for pleasure, you should be prepared for uprisings flaring up at virtually any moment - even in the safest places," Villa said. "You should also know how to get help if you become ill, injured in an accident or are a crime victim."

Increase situational awareness

No matter where the location is, organizations have a duty to protect their corporate travelers the second they leave the office and travel for work. According to Security Magazine, companies should have personal travel security training so employees can increase their situational awareness while abroad.

Workers need to know how to respond and what procedures to follow in case of an emergency, the source added. With foreign environments, fatigue, jet lag, different driving conditions, unfamiliar cultures, and separate legal systems, employees traveling for work undergo a lot of vulnerability.

Liabilities for companies

Bryan Tedford, president of ACE Foreign Casualty, an overseas travel insurance company, told Insurance Business America magazine that companies need a thorough plan to protect its people and procedures for any incidents when an employee is traveling or working across seas, according to the magazine. Additionally, a recent Deloitte survey discovered that almost half (41 percent) of consumers didn't understand all travel restrictions and security and privacy policies by their travel companies.

"Companies should have a plan to communicate possible threats and reciprocal actions to staff, provide medical and repatriation costs back to the U.S.," said Tedford. "Businesses may face exposure to local financial responsibility laws like automobile liability insurance in the country where they are conducting business, and mandatory employers' liability coverage on local and visiting employees."

Businesses have to do more to protect those working on their clock, and investing in business risk management could prevent serious damages to assets or employee's well-being. 

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